Alone with My Girls

by Rebecca J on 2012-10-26

This afternoon, my mom went home. Sheʼs been with us since Monday and has been a life-saver in helping with the girls, driving me around while Iʼm shaking off the last bit of vertigo, buying groceries (and the cutest red ballerina flats for me), and being a generally stabilizing and encouraging force amidst some serious upheaval to our daily routine. She was there the first time I learned how to hear, and this week she reminded me several times, “You did this once before. You can do it again.” So I miss her, and the girls miss her.

I had about three hours between the time she left and the time William got home from work. I think itʼs the first time that Iʼve been alone with both girls in over two weeks, and certainly the first time that Iʼve been alone with them with my hearing being bad in my left ear and terrible in my right. Mollyʼs vocabulary is limited to baby-speak and cooing, so sheʼs pretty easy to understand. If she wants something, she yells unintelligibly. If sheʼs happy, she goes around babbling, “Day day day day day.” Sometimes she growls. It is all really cute.

My three-year-old Emily is a different story. She started speaking in sentences at 18 months and pretty much has not stopped talking since. She always has something to say. Always. Sheʼs also currently in the throes of the “Why?” stage. Itʼs endearing because sheʼs so curious about everything, but it also keeps me on my toes for good answers to her questions. (Iʼm trying really hard not to take the lazy route and just respond with “Because.” to everything.)

The point here is that my girls make a lot of noise, and it never stops. So, we were home alone this afternoon, and I was trying my hardest to keep up with what Emily was saying, all the while listening to Mollyʼs happy babbling in the background. It was utterly exhausting. Emily kept moving around and looking away from me, as three-year olds will do, so lip-reading didnʼt help. I am really nervous about how I am going to manage the girls all day, every day next week and the week after that up until the point when my implant is actually producing intelligible sounds.

After they went to bed, William and I pulled out Bright Baby Touch and Feel (Colors) and did a little more homework. At some point this afternoon, I had realized that I could barely hear out of my implanted ear, not even bells or ringing, so I wanted to see if doing homework would help me figure out what was going on. The only sound that was coming through was some unidentified ambient noise. I had my implant remote and decided to play around with the volume to see if I could help. Lots of button pushing later, Williamʼs voice started to be slightly intelligible, which is an improvement over yesterday.

However, regardless of where the volume level is set, the implant continues to produce a constant buzzing sound that masks any other potentially intelligible sound. I donʼt know if this is something that my brain will learn to filter out over time or whether my implantʼs programming is in need of some serious fine-tuning. My next appointment with Amy is on Friday, November 2, so I have a week to figure this out. But right now, itʼs driving me nuts!